What Are the Different Types of Elder Care?

In this article...
  • Learn about different types of elder care, including nursing home care and assisted living, as well as average costs associated with each type of care.
Woman walks in a garden with assistance from caregiver

Adult Day Care

Adult day care is typically provided for seniors who require daily assistance while transitioning from nursing home care or hospital care. It provides a range of non-residential services, including social activities, medical care and transportation services.

Most adult day care centers also have the resources to provide informal caregivers with information and support regarding other types of long-term care or financial assistance programs.

Home Care Services

Home care services help seniors to live independently within their communities. In some cases, home care services include housekeeping duties, cooking and personal care.

Other seniors may require more hands-on assistance, such as help with medication, bathing and nursing care, and these types of services are often provided by home health agencies.

Assisted Living and Memory Care

Assisted living and memory care facilities offer residential care that typically includes assistance with activities of daily living, social programs, meals, housekeeping services and transportation to and from medical appointments.

While seniors in assisted living facilities usually require assistance with at least one or two daily tasks, those in memory care facilities are living with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia and generally require additional monitoring and services.

Nursing Home Care

Nursing home care is reserved for older adults who are no longer able to care for themselves.

In residential nursing care facilities, seniors are provided with 24-hour care under the supervision of registered nurses, and in most cases, a physician or team of physicians will be available on-site to handle medical emergencies.

Services in nursing care facilities include assistance with mobility and tasks of daily living, medication administration, full-time nursing care and meals.

How Much Does Elder Care Cost?

The cost of elder care varies depending on the type of care received, the state, and the facility or care provider's individual amenities and services list. The costs listed below are national averages.

It's advisable that older adults or their family caregivers investigate specific costs in their own geographical area.

According to the Genworth 2019 Cost of Care Survey, the average costs per month for each type of care across the U.S. are:

  • Home Health Care: $4,385
  • Adult Day Care: $1,625
  • Assisted Living: $4,051
  • Nursing Home Care (Private Room): $8,517

Financial Assistance for Elder Care

There are several types of financial assistance available across the U.S. to help older adults access elder care programs. For those who are living below the income threshold, Medicaid programs can provide some of the services listed above. These programs vary from state to state; however, most states have some type of coverage for long-term care in place.

Other options that are available to help pay for elder care include long-term care insurance, VA benefits, and life insurance cash-out options.